Friday, May 25, 2018

David Ben-Gurion - Part 2

Well, FFFs,
Here we are with another Friday. And guess what? That new privacy law is active now. And I just wanted to let you know that I do not give out your information to anyone. Google said it would display something about it on my blog, but it might not work because of the way I have it designed. If so, great. If not, sorry. I don't use your information for anything except to allow you to read these post via email if you want, or to come to the blog.

But let's get back to real life, shall we?

This week has been–shall we say–interesting? Mostly it's been my computer. It's had a slight glitch for a couple months now where it likes to restart at random times. Well, it's gotten worse. And now it will even freeze up completely. I talked to someone at church (the one who rescued all my files when my last computer completely malfunctioned), and he said it could be hardware or software. But he'd be willing to look it over. The only thing is it will take a full week. So I've been trying to get everything done that I could possibly do this week. Making sure all my files are backed up on flash drives, files that I need to work on are transferred to another computer, and things like that. I'll take my computer to him on Sunday, and then will have to use some older computers for the week. I'm just praying this computer can get fixed and I won't have to buy a new one.

Writing is going okay. I did finish the July story and both June and July have been sent to beta readers. I am back to working on my "unnamed horse ranch story" and it's coming along slowly. I'm waiting to get some answers from the horse ranch in SD.
Oh, guess what? "Dylan's Story" is now being recorded for audio! And so is "Finding Joy" and "TCR-4." And "The Old Mansion's Secret" is going to be recorded too! Talk about fun times!

I don't know if many of you have even read last week's story. When I posted it I wasn't paying attention to dates. But last week was the 75th anniversary of the present day nation of Israel, so I think this fits. It was written quite a few years ago, but I do hope some of you will enjoy it because that's what you're getting.

“This Jewish paper is going too far!” stormed a young man in the office of the Palestinian Turkish governor.
“In what way?” the older man leaned back in his chair and yawned.
“Haven’t you seen the last few papers, Sir?”
“No, I don’t pay much attention to those things, Ekber. It’s just a bunch of talk.”
“Don’t pay attention. . . just talk! Why!. . . why. . .” the younger man stammered in disbelief. “Why, in this paper,” the mentioned paper was shaken in the older man’s face, “He says that the Jews must form a political force!”
“Who says that?” demanded the older man sitting up suddenly with more interest. Seeing that he had bestirred the older man, Ekber continued, “It’s Ben Gurion this time, but it might be Ben Zvi next time. They both seem to be leaders of the same mind. Anyhow, it also says that they must strive for Jewish autonomy in Palestine!”
“What!” thundered the older man, now thoroughly aroused. “Why that’s treason! They dare to conspire against the mighty Ottoman Empire! Those miserable Jewish nobodies!” Pacing the room in anger, the older man continued his tirade against Ben Gurion, Ben Zvi, and all the other leaders of the Zionist movement. “Such men as those should not be allowed in Palestine! I won’t tolerate it! Ekber, order their arrest at once! We’ll soon put an end to all such troublemakers.”
Both men were apprehended and charged with conspiring against the Ottoman Empire in order to create a Jewish state. Their sentence? Exile from Palestine! 

World War I
Three years of exile passed, and in 1915 Ben Gurion returned to Palestine and again entered the Holy City of Jerusalem. This time he was in the uniform of the 38th Battalion of the Jewish Legion under British General Allenby with the rank of corporal. Jewish battalions had been recruited in England, and when one began in the United States, Canada and Argentine, Ben Gurion and Ben Zvi joined up. Ben Gurion had resided during his years of exile in New York where he met and married Paula Murweis. Paula had also been born in Russia to Jewish parents. At the close of World War I, when the Ottoman Empire had been destroyed and the British had control of Palestine, Ben Gurion moved his wife, and two-year-old daughter, Geula, back to Palestine. There he continued to work towards an independent Jewish state.

Leader In Palestine
“Ben Gurion, Sir!”
“What is it, Joseph?” Ben Gurion paused on the sidewalk and glanced at the young man. He could see excitement, as well as anxiety, in his eyes.
Joseph glanced around and instinctively lowered his voice. “I just received word that there is another group of Jews waiting to come to Palestine. Is there any way we can get them passports from the British?”
Ben Gurion frowned. “Not now. I am afraid they fear the Arabs too much to let many of our people come here. It has been that way for some time now, even though the United Nations has declared this a National Home for Jews.”
“Sir, what can we do? There are thousands of our people around the world who are being persecuted. Is there no way we can help them?”
“No way? Joseph, come now. Just because the Brits won’t help us doesn’t mean we are helpless. Come with me.” There was a slight smile on the leader’s face as he turned towards a motorcar with Joseph close behind.
Had anyone been following them, they would only have seen them casually travel to an inauspicious house and enter. A middle aged man looked up from a desk as the two strolled in. Rising to shake hands, he greeted Ben Gurion without formality, using his first name. Ben Gurion told of the problem Joseph had brought to his attention. “Can something be done about this?”
“Well, we already received word about that very same group,” the man at the desk answered briskly after glancing down at a few papers. “It will no doubt be difficult but. . .”
Ben Gurion smiled. “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer. Eh?”
“That’s it, Sir.”
Joseph waited until he was back in the car with Ben Gurion before asking, “The Haganah? How can our defense force bring Jews to Palestine?”
“A lonely coast of France, or somewhere else and a lonely coast of Palestine and a ship or two in between.” Ben Gurion smiled more broadly. It had worked time after time. The Haganah was ready for anything. Their secret training in hidden camps was paying off. How devoted, loyal and brave these men and even women were. Each was willing to risk his life for fellow Jews.

Ben Gurion went home that night to his wife and three children, Geula, Amos and little Ranana, in the center of Tel Aviv. The Haganah (The Defense) was certainly growing in many ways he had never dreamed of at the start. The group was begun in 1920 as simply a defense group. As a leader, Ben Gurion well knew that if the Jews were ever to have their own state or nation, they would have to defend themselves. Now, along with defending the frontier settlements, the Haganah was busy bringing more Jews secretly to Palestine. 
 How has your week been?
What do you know about the nation of Israel?
Are you excited for new audio books?

Friday, May 18, 2018

David Ben-Gurion - Part 1

Good morning FFFs,
I didn't have anything to post, so after looking through my archives, I decided to repost this story I wrote when I first started this blog. I shared it in February of 2009! Yeah, that was a while ago. I wonder if anyone thinks I should publish it as a kindle book. Any thoughts would be welcome.

This week has disappeared rapidly. I designed the covers for my June and July short stories. The June story is ready to send to my beta readers, and my July story is almost written. I'm hoping to get them sent out to beta readers at the same time so that July's story will be ready to publish before the 4th. I haven't been back to my "horse ranch or Camp NaNo" story for a while. Mostly because I needed to get the next two month stories written. But I heard back from a ranch in SD and they said they'd be happy to answer questions for me. I sent them a list yesterday. I'm looking forward to hearing back from them.

Not much is going on here. The weather gets into summer mode, and then decides it isn't ready and drops back into spring. Last night it was 60º but during the day it was 90º. At least the humidity wasn't bad at all yesterday. But earlier in the week it was only in the 80s and we had to turn on the AC because the humidity was so bad you didn't want to do anything.

Tomorrow I'm planning on mowing the yard and maybe doing some other yard work. Some things need trimmed, or weeded. It's time to put away the bird feeders. Well, except for the hummingbird feeders.

Now here is the first part of the story. I hope you enjoy it.

David Ben-Gurion, Leader of Israel

May 14, 1948. The hours slowly passed by approaching midnight when the British Mandate would end. It was afternoon in the Art Museum in Tel Aviv as a short stocky man, whose dark eyes flashed with determination and courage, began to speak, reading from a piece of paper with great feeling. A small group of men and women listened with passionate intensity. The lights in the room shone on his bushy white side hair and nearly bald head. The moment that he had dreamed of, struggled towards and fought for was fast approaching.
“In the Land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this land was shaped their spiritual, religious and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. They created a culture of national and universal import and gave to the world the eternal “Book of Books.”. . .” On he read, until at last, reaching the end of the paper, he laid it on a desk. The tension in the room grew as he silently reached for a pen. Two other men crowded forward to watch this historic event. There was a glint of a smile in those dark eyes as he boldly signed his name, David Ben-Gurion. As his pen scrawled across the paper, his thoughts flashed back nearly fifty-one years.

The Early Years
“David! Have you read the news?” In his home town of Plonsk, Russia (now a part of Poland), eleven-year-old David Green looked up from the book he was reading.
“What news, Father?”
“About Dr. Theodore Herzl.” Young David looked puzzled. Slowly he shook his head. His father quickly explained, “Herzl is an Austrian Jew, and he has just called together a congress of Jewish delegates to meet in Switzerland! The delegates are from many different countries.”
“But what are they meeting for?” David interrupted.
“To try to secure a national home for Jewish people in the land of Palestine!”
“Palestine! Oh, Father!” David’s eyes shone with excitement - the same excitement that was in his father Avigdor’s heart. After his father left him, David sat staring at the book in his hand, yet not seeing it. A homeland for their people, his people. For centuries the Jewish people had been persecuted and oppressed in almost every country where they lived. The Jews were the troublemakers and scapegoats; the fewer there are the better the world will be seemed to be the general idea of most of the rulers towards these people of the Bible. And yet, the Jewish people continued to live and dream of maybe one day returning to the land of their heritage where they would be free to live as their ancestors had. Now maybe all this talk that David had heard all of his life would become a reality. As the days went by, there was much excitement in the house over this wonderful news, but it was soon subdued as Sheindel, David’s quiet, gentle mother, died giving birth to her eleventh child. Though overcome with grief, Avigdor did his best to fill the place of both father and mother to his children.
The years passed by swiftly and at 15, David, always more serious -minded than his friends, was an able leader for the cause of Zionism (a Jewish homeland) in Russia. He helped form a group of youths all interested in Zionism. Like Ezra, the scribe of the Old Testament, who returned to Palestine from Babylon some 25 centuries before them, so these youths (Their group was called “Ezra”) were eager to go for the first time to Palestine. Five years passed. The persecution of the Jews during the Russian revolution and afterwards increased greatly before David was prepared to leave his family and the land of his birth to travel with a friend to Palestine.

In Palestine
The first night David spent in Petah Tikvah, the Gateway of Hope, he couldn’t sleep for happiness. He was in Palestine! Breathing deeply, he smelled the corn, heard the donkey's bray and felt the breeze that rustled the leaves in the fruit orchards. Petah Tikvah was a small village with swampy, mosquito breeding ground. There were some fruit orchards, but it was definitely not the “land of milk and honey” that it had been when the first Israelites conquered the land under the leadership of Joshua. Finding work in Palestine in those days of 1906 was hard if you were an untrained immigrant. Finally, after persistent searching, David found a job.
“Here, fill this wheelbarrow with manure at the stables; take it down to the orchard and mulch the trees,” he was told. “And make sure you spread it thickly.”
David did as he was instructed, and day after day mulched the trees with manure. The swampy area he was working in was full of mosquitoes, and he soon came down with malaria.
“Go back to Plonsk,” the doctor told him. “This climate is too hard for you.”
But David wouldn’t go back even though his malaria came back every two weeks. For a year David hauled manure and fought malaria. Then he and a friend traveled north into the frontier area of Nazareth. There, with forty-six other young men and women, he labored to clear the rocky soil. They weren’t planning on living there long, only long enough to make the ground ready for a small settlement. David worked hard for two years, living with the others in five wooden huts. It was there that his malaria left him for good, and though the work was strenuous with not a lot of food or fresh water, he always looked back on it as a happy time. There was just one problem. The Arabs kept stealing animals and equipment. The workers themselves were too tired to keep guard at night, and so a group of Jewish men, Shomrim (watch-men), were appointed to each frontier village as guards.

In time, David made a short visit back to Russia to visit his father. On returning to Palestine, he was asked to help edit the first Hebrew newspaper in Jerusalem. His co-editor was Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who was also from Russia.
“Hmm,” David murmured to himself as he paused before signing his name to his first article. “Green. That really doesn’t sound very Jewish or very strong. I need a new name. One that will identify me forever as a Jew. I know! From now on, I will be David Ben-Gurion, son of a lion-cub!”
And so it was that from that time on, David Green was known as “Ben-Gurion.”
Have you ever read much of David Ben-Gurion?
Are you eager for the June short story?
Who does the mowing at your house?

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Camp NaNo Story - Part 3

Good morning, FFFs!

I hope you are enjoying some lovely weather! We had to turn the air conditioning on this week for the first time this year, but yesterday it was off all day. And right now the windows are wide open, and the breeze is very pleasant.

I was gone Monday evening to a very delightful picnic with some old friends and their families. The weather was perfect! And I got to hold all five of the babies. The oldest baby being my 9 month nephew, and the youngest being a little guy just over 2 months. Then there was a 4 1/2 month old girl, a 6 month girl, and another little guy who is a week younger than my nephew. Talk about fun!

Tuesday was warm. By afternoon my creativity felt like it had melted into a pile of mush. Not so good for writing. After we turned the AC on, it got better.

Wednesday my mom and I went to the library! And I got books! I've only read one so far: "Word After Word After Word" by Patricia MacLachlan. It was a delightful story.

Yesterday was the big ride. My nieces and nephews were over (except Busters, the youngest) and we had decided to go for a bike ride out a nearby path. My mom and sister took Ti-K and Buddy in the van with Buddy's bike. The others had to ride their bikes to the start of the path with me. The day was cloudy and cooler, perfect for riding. After riding just over 1/2 a mile on the path, we reached the bridge and stopped to throw rocks into the the creek. Then, while Mom, Sis, and Ti-K went down to a large rock bank and had fun there, the rest of us rode our bikes another half mile to a road. And then the 1/2 mile back. Another stop at the creek. And then back home. Those of us who were riding back to the house ended up riding over 2 miles. We ate a picnic lunch outside, read a few books, and then the kids got picked up.

As far as writing goes, I did get my June story written. Well, I haven't re-read it and edited it. I plan on doing that today. Then I'll hand it to my editor. I'd like to start work on my July story, but I haven't figured out a story yet. I do have a sort of idea, so we'll see how it goes. :)

I'm glad you are enjoying this new story. I kind of like it too. :) Here's the next part. Enjoy!

Untitled Story
Part 3

    That’s what Austin thought he had heard before. So they had seven days to pack everything they owned up, and head north. “I’m going to go to the park to make sure Drew has company until everyone arrives, okay? The girls are next door.”
    When his father nodded, Austin turned to leave, but at the gate his dad’s voice stopped him.
    “Austin, I’m sorry. I should have told you all this before. I should have insisted on more time to pack up. I should have–”
    “It’s okay, Dad,” Austin broke in. “We’ll get through these next crazy days. We can be glad so much stuff is already packed up from showing the house.”
    Slowly Mr. Sparks nodded. “I don’t know how to pack up a house, Austin. That’s why Mimmie is coming.”
    “It’ll work out. I’ve got to go now.” His dad nodded, and Austin left the yard and broke into a jog, his mind whirling with shock waves from his dad’s bombshell. Packing. Moving. Aunt Mimmie coming. That at least was good. Aunt Mimmie was Dad’s youngest sister. Her real name was Colleen, but she looked so much like her oldest sister, Rachel, that Rachel had nicknamed her Minnie-Me when introducing her to others. When Colleen was old enough to talk, she called herself Mimmie in her attempts to say Minnie-Me, thinking that was her name. The nickname stuck, and close friends and family seemed to forget her real name.
    Mimmie was single and often came down to visit her brother and his family. When Mrs. Sparks had been diagnosed with cancer, Mimmie had come down and spent nearly a month with the family. They had only seen her twice since the funeral.

    Arriving at the park, Austin paused to glance around while he caught his breath. He had run faster than usual. The park was almost empty, and he quickly spotted Drew on the swings.
    Striding over, Austin sat down on the swing beside his younger brother and set it in motion. Neither one said a word for several minutes. Then Austin, slowing his swing, looked over at Drew. “Are you okay, Buddy?”
    Drew didn’t answer but pumped higher.
    “We can ask Aunt Mimmie if she knows of any ball teams nearby.”
    At that, Drew stopped pumping. “It won’t be the same.”
    “I know.”
    “I’m mad at Dad.”
    “Because he didn’t tell us sooner?” questioned Austin.
    “No, because we have to move at all. I don’t mind vacations up at the ranch, but who wants to live in that old trailer? I like where we live now.”
    “I do too.”
    “Then can’t you get Dad to change his mind?” Drew let his feet drag until he stopped, then twisted in the swing until he was facing Austin. “Can’t we just move to a different house or something? Do we have to leave this town?”
    Austin wasn’t sure what to say. His brother was hurting and wanted answers, but he didn’t know if he had any that would help. “Listen, Buddy, you know that Dad hasn’t been the same since Mom died. Everything around here reminds him of her, and it hurts. He told me he had been praying about what to do and then Grandpa called and told him we could stay in the trailer. He said it had been updated.”
    “How updated?”
    Austin shrugged. “I don’t know. But I do know that Dad needs a change. Perhaps after he’s been back at the ranch for a couple months, he’ll be back to his old self and we’ll find a better place to live and–”
    “There is no better place than right here,” Drew said stubbornly. He looked around. “Some of the guys are here. I’m going to go practice.” He jumped off the swing as he spoke and picked up his bag.
    Giving a long sigh, Austin closed his eyes and let his shoulders drop. He wasn’t sure if Drew would put up a fuss later about leaving or if he’d decide to take things in stride. He thought the girls would be okay once Aunt Mimmie was there. As for him, his feelings were mixed. He loved Grandpa’s ranch and the freedom of the wide rangelands, not to mention his love of a certain horse. But on the other hand, the Sparks family had lived in that house since before Drew was born. Austin didn’t really remember any other home. They had friends, and a church, but the thing that hurt the worst was Mom’s grave.
    Giving himself a shake, Austin stood up and sauntered over toward the baseball diamond where Drew and a few of his pals were tossing the ball. If he had known Dad was even thinking of leaving . . . But no, that wasn’t fair, Dad hadn’t even known what he was thinking.
    “Help us, Father,” Austin prayed again. “We’re a mess right now, and I don’t see how it’s all going to come together.”

Have you ever played a sport?
Do you have a special aunt like Aunt Mimmie?
Have you ever been on a long bike ride?

Friday, May 4, 2018

My Camp NaNo Story - Part 2

Oh, hello.
I forgot it was Friday. Well, I knew it was Friday, but I hadn't thought about posting at all until I got on my blogger account. So I guess I'll post.

I haven't gotten a lot written this week, but I have done some. I just haven't felt like writing. Maybe it was because Camp ended Monday night. (Though a few of us are still hanging out in the cabin.) I'm working on getting my May story ready to publish, and trying to write one for June. Perhaps I'll get one for July written too while I'm at it. Maybe I should just write all the rest of the months while I'm at it. I have August's written, I have an idea for October, so that just leaves Sept., Nov., and Dec. Any ideas are welcomed. The story has to be around 4k words though, so no really complicated plot, please. ;)

We've had some warm sunny days this week reaching the 80s. Then it rained yesterday and was only in the 60s. I think it's supposed to get warmer again today and reach the 70s. I'd like some more days when it was in the 70s not the 80s.

Boy, I can't seem to think of anything interesting to say this morning. I think my brain is already off with my June story, running through the things I need to do today, planning on what I should do this weekend, and other things. I suppose that means I should just go get to work on things and leave you in peace to read this next part of the story with no name.

Unknown Title
Part 2

    Fighting the frustration that rose inside him, Austin let out a sigh. “Dad, it’s going to be okay. We’ll survive the move. It’ll just take some getting used to. And you know the four of us kids love the ranch. South Dakota may be states away from Arkansas, but it’s still in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And Dad,” Austin paused until his dad lifted his head, “God will still be with us.”
    Swallowing hard, Mr. Sparks nodded. “Thanks, son.”
    “I’ve got to finish cleaning up.” And Austin rose, shoved the chair back under the table and returned to the sink for the dishcloth to wipe off the table. His life had been completely turned upside down once again. He didn’t know how his younger siblings would react to the news of their move, nor how his dad would enjoy working on the family ranch again.
    “Lord,” he prayed, “we really need Your help. I don’t know what these next few days are going to be like, but I don’t think it’ll be easy.”
    The hesitant way his dad spoke his name alerted Austin that there was more news. He looked over his shoulder. “Yeah?”
    “Would you tell the kids?”
    “Don’t you think you should?”
    Mr. Sparks let out his breath sharply. “I guess I should.” Then with shoulders stooped and hands shoved in his pockets, he headed outside to the backyard.
    “Ugh!” Austin groaned, rinsing the dishcloth and bracing himself for an outdoor explosion. Dad had never been very tactful when it came to announcements; it had always been Mom who paved the way and got everyone excited about whatever was going to happen. But Mom was gone.
    Loud voices suddenly filled the peaceful quiet of the morning. Drew’s high treble was easy to make out. “What? I can’t go now; I got baseball!”
    The excited voices of the twins filled the yard as Austin watched his younger brother race toward the house. He couldn’t tell if the girls were eager to go or upset, for he couldn’t see their faces from the window.
    The screen door slammed behind him and Austin turned. “Drew–”
    The boy rushed through the kitchen without a word and on to the bedroom the brothers shared. A few moments later he reappeared with his bag of baseball gear over his shoulder, a cap on his head, and a scowl on his face.
    “Where are you going?” Austin asked.
    “I got practice,” was the short answer before Drew stormed from the house and down the sidewalk in the direction of the park where his team practiced.
    “Yeah, you have practice,” Austin muttered, glancing at the clock, “in about an hour.” For a moment he debated whether to follow his brother or let him have some time to cool off first.
    The screen door slammed again and two pitiful faces appeared before him.
    “Austin,” Addy began, “Dad says we have to move to the ranch.”
    “But we don’t want to go,” LeaLea protested. “We won’t have any friends there.”
    “Oh, come on, girls,” Austin said, sitting down and motioning them over. “You both love the ranch. And think of all the horse rides you’ll get to take. All your friends here are going to be jealous. And don’t forget we’ll get to see Grandma and Grandpa, and all our aunts and uncles and cousins. Did Dad say that Aunt Mimmie was coming next week?”
    The sad faces brightened a little at the mention of everyone’s favorite aunt. But they fell again when Addy remarked, “Dad says we’re going to stay in that old trailer. I’m not going to like that. Come on, LeaLea, let’s go see if Hannah can play.”
    Hannah was their next door neighbor, and the three girls had a play date nearly every Saturday morning at nine o’clock. Nodding at LeaLea’s questioning glance, Austin followed his sisters to the front door and watched until they were let into the neighbor’s house. Then he turned and looked about him.
    The living room walls were hung with framed photos of past years, books filled the shelves, and the end table held a stack of Taste of Home magazines. They were old, for Mom hadn’t had time to renew another subscription before– Blinking, Austin turned away. He wasn’t in a mood to face all the memories this small house held. With a shake of his head he headed outside to find his dad.
    Mr. Sparks sat on one of the outdoor chairs and stared vacantly before him. Austin paused a moment. “Hey, Dad,” he said at last, approaching the table and resting a foot on the seat of the other chair.
    Mr. Sparks looked up.
    “When did you say Aunt Mimmie was coming?”
    Austin nodded. That was probably good as he figured it was going to take them a long time to get everything packed up. Only they didn’t have a long time. “When do we have to be out of the house?”
    “The end of next week.”

Are you a tactful announcement maker?
Would you have felt like Drew or the twins?
Do you want the next part next week?